Social inequality and education
The relationship between social inequality and education is a persistently important research theme.
In Norway, this theme has mainly evolved around effects on students’ educational achievement and attainment due to their families’ economic resource, the parents’ formal level of education (or other familiarity with high-status culture), parental occupational status and their ethnic background (including immigrant status). The main concern has been to identify influences on how well students succeed in the educational system and on their transition to positions of unequal status in the occupational structure. Gender inequality has also been an important subtheme under social inequality and education. Because “social relations” (and thus “social inequality” in education) if taken literally will involve a wide array of phenomena, the scope opens for wider concerns than those conventionally grouped under “social inequality”. A wide conceptualization would include barriers facing people with disabilities, positive effects of cohesive and supportive families, and positive educational effects of growing up in families that take an active interest in the public domain. Education as a field of study will also give attention to school structures; curricula and teaching styles that may have perpetuate the reproduction of inequality in education or serve to alleviate it.